Half a billion rands to support victims of gender-based violence

Friday, November 1, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa says half a billion will be spent on programmes aimed at providing care and support to victims of gender-based violence.

“An amount of R517 million will go to care and support for survivors of gender-based violence," the President said when he fielded questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.

“Two hundred social workers will be appointed to provide targeted services to survivors at various social services centres, including at the national network of Thuthuzela Care Centres," said President Ramaphosa.

The African Christian Democratic Party’s (ACDP) Reverend Kenneth Meshoe had asked the President the question in light of the R1.1 billion allocated towards fighting gender violence.

Meshoe asked if any determination has been made on how the funds will be spent and which departments would account for the expenditure.   

The President said the R517 million will also be used to support social services for survivors at local and district municipality level. 

He said the gender-based violence Emergency Action Plan also calls for the creation of more economic opportunities for women who are vulnerable to abuse because of poverty. 

“The budget for this intervention is still to be finalised through the ongoing reprioritisation process; as is the approximately R20 million still needed to strengthen accountability measures,” he said.

President Ramaphosa said to ensure that the reallocation of resources has the necessary impact, government is working with civil society and other partners to ensure that all of these measures are implemented with urgency.

“Given the breadth of interventions, this is a challenging undertaking, but we are confident that working together we will succeed,” said Ramapahosa.

Focus on prevention programmes

Meanwhile an amount of R179 million has been allocated to education, awareness raising and prevention programmes. 

“We know that gender-based violence often has its roots in social, cultural and other norms that perpetuate patriarchy and chauvinism. We also know we have to focus on prevention as the first point of intervention,” he said.

He said the Department of Social Development, in collaboration with other departments, will drive the roll-out of programmes that will engage with men’s formations, traditional leaders, student organisations, youth groups, offenders inside prisons, officials working in the criminal justice system, and communities at large.

“Work is being done to enhance our current legal and policy framework to make it more responsive to the needs of survivors of gender-based violence. This includes bail and sentencing reform to ensure that perpetrators face justice and that the law acts as an effective deterrent.”

The funding he said, will ensure that legislation that has been pending is finalised, and, where necessary, that capacity is made available for new laws to be drafted. – SAnews.gov.za